The career of Lithuanian producer-musician Marijus Adomaitis, better known internationally as Ten Walls, took a serious hit when the artist's homophobic rant on Facebook went viral. After a summer out of the public eye, Ten Walls returns with an apology and a project he says will redeem him with his LGBT fans. The latter claim, however, has left some unconvinced.
Marijus Adomaitis, aka Ten Walls
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Adomaitis, formerly a darling of the international music festival circuit who made his name with the 2014 hit "Walking with Elephants", fell in disgrace after posting a hard-worded comment on his Facebook account last June, conflating homosexuality with paedophilia and suggesting gay relations should be criminalized. Several music festivals dropped Adomaitis from their programmes as a result.

Following the outcry, Ten Walls retreated from the public eye and spent the summer in relative silence. Come autumn, however, he came back with a public apology and a project he said would send "a strong message" of acceptance and tolerance for LGBT people.

"It is my intention to do something in my home country of Lithuania, to support LGBT groups and educate others on acceptance and tolerance. I am now part of a group of people who have created an electronic opera ‘Carmen’ with a strong message of this. I hope my involvement in this project will be the first step to educating others in my home country that homophobia is simply not acceptable and that everyone should be free to live the life they choose," Ten Walls said in a statement, in English, circulated in international media.

Adomaitis is involved in a new production of "Carmen" by Vilnius City Opera, directed by Dalia Ibelhauptaitė and featuring in the lead roles internationally-accomplished singers Asmik Grigorian and Kostas Smoriginas.

But will "Carmen", a sensationalist story about the Gypsy temptress who uses men in love with her and leads them to ruin, be indeed a vehicle for a message on LGBT equality, as Ten Walls has suggested? DELFI has asked Dalia Ibelhauptaitė, the director of the production, for comment.

"The opera 'Carmen' is a canvas - it is still in the creative process and the painting itself is not there yet," Ibelhauptaitė told DELFI. "I do not know what Marijus has written about it and I cannot be responsible for what other people write. At this stage, the project is still in the works; once it is finished, we will call a press conference and I will present the entire concept - what, how, where and when. At this moment, it's not there yet, so there's nothing to talk about."

However, she said she could not say that the project would in any way be related to LGBT equality. Ibelhauptaitė commented on Ten Wall's statements in international media thus: "It happens that a person tries to express himself in a language that is not his own, tries to do it politely... I cannot guess what he meant, but, as I've said, the project is still in the creative process."

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